Louisville, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM) annual World Hunger Relief campaign to help stop world hunger has created even more global awareness, deeper engagement and volunteerism and increased donations to benefit the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and other hunger relief agencies.
As the world's largest volunteer movement and private sector effort to combat hunger for the second year, more than 1.4 million employees, franchisees and their families across nearly 36,000 KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silver's and A&W Restaurants in more than 100 countries volunteered approximately five million volunteer hours to aid hunger relief efforts in communities worldwide. The month-long effort has raised more than $17.5 million in overall donations to date and counting for WFP and other hunger relief agencies.
Global hunger has reached epic proportions – reaching nearly 1 billion people – due to the convergence of higher commodity and global food prices; increased competition for products that produce energy; severe droughts and floods due to climate change and increasing demand from growing economies in Asia and South America.
"Global hunger is a huge problem and has become worse with nearly 925 million people starving and going to bed hungry every day," said David Novak, Chairman and CEO, Yum! Brands, Inc. "That's why we are so inspired and more determined than ever to be the leader in wiping out hunger."
"I'm incredibly proud of the overwhelming outpouring of support, volunteerism and generosity from our employees, franchisees, their families and our customers around the globe to make this year's World Hunger Relief campaign an even greater success than last year," said Novak. "Through our efforts, we will provide more than 70 million meals and save the lives of more than 1.8 million people, moving them from hunger to hope."
Officials from WFP, the world's frontline agency in the fight against hunger, are determining specifics on how and where their funds will be used, but have already earmarked one million dollars to provide emergency aid to hurricane victims in Haiti. The Yum! Foundation is covering WFP's administrative fee so that funds collected from customers and employees will go directly toward feeding people. Funds raised for WFP go directly to the areas of greatest need, feeding poor school children in the developing world and helping villages become self-sustainable. Every U.S. dollar raised during World Hunger Relief 2008 provides four meals for hungry children all over the world.
In its second year, Yum's World Hunger Relief campaign has leveraged the power of its global system. Here are the highlights:
Yum! created the first global hunger relief initiative in 2007 (World Hunger Relief Week). The campaign was an overwhelming success, raising $16 million in one week for WFP and other hunger relief agencies, and creating the world's largest volunteer movement. The funds directed to WFP fed 1.6 million hungry people throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America. One-million company and franchise employees mobilized around the globe generating four million volunteer hours in local communities and raising funds from the more than 115 million customers that visit its restaurants each week.
Yum! and its brands have been committed to fighting hunger for more than a decade by donating more than $46 million of prepared food annually to the underprivileged in the United States. Since the company went public in 1997, it has donated over $500 million of its food to hunger relief agencies in the U.S.
Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, is the world's largest restaurant company in terms of system restaurants, with nearly 36,000 restaurants in over 100 countries and territories. The company is ranked #253 on the Fortune 500 List, with revenues in excess of $10 billion in 2007. Four of the company's restaurant brands – KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and Long John Silver's – are the global leaders of the chicken, pizza, Mexican-style food and quick-service seafood categories, respectively. Outside the United States, the Yum! Brands system opened about four new restaurants each day of the year, making it the largest retail developer in the world. The company has consistently been recognized for its reward and recognition culture, diversity leadership, community giving, and consistent shareholder returns. Last year, the company launched the world's largest private sector hunger relief effort, in partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme and other hunger relief agencies. This effort helped save over 1.6 million people from starvation in remote corners of the world, where hunger is most prevalent.
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency and the United Nations frontline agency for hunger solutions. This year, WFP plans to feed around 90 million people in 80 countries.